The University has identified a number of goals for baccalaureate students:

At SF State, students acquire these skills and this knowledge through General Education (GE) courses, courses in a major, and perhaps courses in a minor or elective courses. All are important parts of the overall experience of a baccalaureate education.

SF State awards three baccalaureate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), and the Bachelor of Music (B.M.). Requirements for all three degrees are listed on the following pages. Consult your major department for specific degree requirements.


Completion of a major is a graduation requirement. A major is a study in depth -- a focused area of study that requires the student to take a specific set of courses that lead to a deep understanding of a particular subject matter. At SF State there are over 100 undergraduate majors. Choosing a major involves declaring this choice at the time of admission or consulting with faculty advisers and then submitting a Change of Major form to the department office of the intended major.

Typically, students declare their major during their sophomore year after completing most of their lower division General Education requirements. Students who are undecided about their major may identify themselves as undeclared. Being undeclared provides the opportunity to explore a variety of courses in different areas of interest. Students who enter SF State as freshmen must declare a major by the time they complete 70 units.

Some majors are identified as impacted, or high demand, majors. Generally, more students than can be accommodated have selected these areas of study as their majors. An impacted major includes supplemental admission requirements. When declaring a major, be sure to determine whether or not there are special requirements to enter that major. Such majors require that students meet specific prerequisites before gaining admission.

The following rules apply to all undergraduate majors:


Students may also elect to complete a minor if it is possible to complete the minor and major within 120 units. Like a major, the minor is a focused area of study; however, a minor does not require as many units. Currently, at SF State, only the Journalism major requires a minor to earn a bachelor's degree.

The following policies apply to completion of an approved minor:

General Education

Your major provides study in depth in one subject matter, often one directly related to a particular career. General Education (GE), on the other hand, involves study in breadth -- for acquiring knowledge and skills for a range of future experiences throughout life, for providing the intellectual agility to move from one career to another, and for making future contributions in a number of possible communities. The University requires students to complete 48 units of General Education requirements (GE).

Segment I of GE is designed to improve students’ basic skills in writing, speaking, and reasoning. Segment II of GE provides a breadth of knowledge about human creativity past and present, about different ways of knowing, and about the role of science and technology in modern life. Segment III of GE draws upon several disciplines to study a particular topic. GE at SF State satisfies the General Education Breadth Requirements of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

Segment I: Basic Subjects

The Basic Subjects curriculum develops skills in effective written and oral communication, builds critical thinking abilities, and develops greater competence in mathematical analysis.

Segment II: Arts and Sciences Core

The Arts and Sciences Core helps students develop an understanding of the contributions to and influences on our world of the physical and biological sciences, social sciences, humanities, and creative arts. Students study human accomplishments past and present, are introduced to different ways of analyzing and understanding the natural and created environment, and may participate actively in creative endeavors.

Through study of the physical and biological sciences, students develop an understanding of the role of science and technology in modern life. Students apply the scientific method through a laboratory course or field experience.

Study of the behavioral and social sciences develops skills for analyzing and understanding human behavior -- individually and in groups, past and present, here and elsewhere in the world -- and fosters civic and global responsibility and an appreciation for diverse values and cultural traditions.

In the humanities and arts, students explore fundamental questions regarding human values, aesthetics, and expression. Such study stimulates reflective thinking, imagination, and creativity; increases civic and global responsibility; and cultivates moral and ethical action.

Within Segment II, students gain understandings useful to their lifelong personal development (LLD—Lifelong Development), to their development as active and constructive participants in a diverse society (AERM—American and Ethnic Racial Minorities), and to their awareness of the scientific method (L/F—Laboratory or Field component).

Segment III: Relationships of Knowledge

Segment III, Relationships of Knowledge, provides a focused and coherent study of a theme that challenges students to integrate and apply skills and knowledge. Each theme includes one or more courses that address the diversity of human experience, values, and contributions (CESD—Cultural, Ethnic, or Social Diversity).

Summary of General Education Requirements

Segment I: Basic Subjects Units

Written Communications 3
Oral Communications 3
Critical Thinking 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Total units in Segment I 12

 Segment II: Arts and Sciences Core (including AERM, LLD, and L/F components)

Physical and Biological Sciences 9
Behavioral and Social Sciences 9
Humanities and Creative Arts 9
Total units in Segment II 27

Segment III: Relationships of Knowledge

Upper Division Residence Units in a Cluster (including CESD) 9

Total Units in General Education


Other Academic Programs

Certificate programs provide individuals the opportunity to develop specialized skills in areas that may complement majors or minors. These programs focus on a narrow spectrum of knowledge or skills and require fewer units than a major. SF State's College of Extended Learning also offers certificate programs. Students who are pursing a baccalaureate degree and certificate at the same time may only do so if they can complete them within 120 units.

Pre-credential programs are offered for students interested in pursuing teaching credentials after completing the baccalaureate degree. Students may complete preparatory course work as an undergraduate student and are encouraged to seek advising from the College of Education's Credential Services Teacher Preparation Center, the Liberal Studies office and/or the Child and Adolescent Development Program.

Pre-professional programs are available for students who are interested in pursuing professional school studies after the baccalaureate degree.

For information and referral, consult the University Bulletin and/or the Advising Center.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

Subject to restrictions imposed by the CSU Chancellor’s Office, in rare instances a student who already holds a bachelor's degree may apply for admission to work toward a second baccalaureate degree. If approved, the student will be admitted to the undergraduate program, typically at the senior level. Check CSU Mentor (www.csumentor.edu) for programs open to second baccalaureate applications.

Students who have earned a bachelor's degree from a campus in the CSU system will be held to the residence requirement at SF State (30 minimum/24 upper division) and the requirements of the new major. An Advanced Standing Evaluation (ASE) and/or Degree Audit Report (DARS) will indicate that requirements in General Education, Written English, and U.S. History and Government have been met.

Students who earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution outside of the CSU system will be held to all SF State graduation requirements. Work completed in fulfillment of the earlier degree will be evaluated as transfer credit. An Advanced Standing Evaluation (ASE) and/or Degree Audit Report (DARS) will indicate requirements to be met (i.e., General Education, GWAR, Basic Information Competence Requirement, U.S. History and Government).

Whether or not the second baccalaureate degree is ever completed, none of the credits earned may later be considered for post-baccalaureate status at this University. The only possible exception is in the last semester before the award of the degree as provided for under the section Courses in Excess of Bachelor Degree Requirements.

Undergraduate Education continues in Academic Advising for Undergraduate Students.

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Last modified July 06, 2012 by bulletin@sfsu.edu